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J Hum Nutr Diet. 2001 Jun;14(3):185-90.

The effect of weekly iron supplementation on anaemia and on iron deficiency among female tea pluckers in Bangladesh.

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  • 1Department of Biological Anthropology, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3DZ, UK.

Abstract

AIM:

To investigate the effect of weekly iron supplementation on anaemia and iron deficiency among adult, female tea pluckers.

METHOD:

A randomized double-blind intervention trial was conducted in a tea estate in Bangladesh where a total of 280 women received either weekly iron supplementation (200 mg ferrous fumarate and 200 mg folic acid) for 24 weeks or a matching placebo. Capillary blood samples were drawn at baseline and post-trial to determine haemoglobin, haematocrit and ferritin concentration. Mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC) was calculated using the haemoglobin and haematocrit values.

RESULTS:

The mean haemoglobin concentration in the supplemented group increased by 5.52 g L-1 over the study period, on average, while ferritin values decreased by 0.33 microgram L-1. The control group showed a decrease in both mean haemoglobin (-0.24 g L-1) and ferritin (-5.32 micrograms L-1). Those individuals in the supplemented group with the lowest pretrial haemoglobin and ferritin values experienced the greatest improvements post-trial, whereas nonanaemic individuals showed a decrease in both haemoglobin and ferritin concentrations. A total of 62.2% of women in the supplemented group reported feeling better and more energetic compared to 51.1% in the placebo group; 14.4% of the supplemented group and 22.7% of the control group complained about side-effects.

CONCLUSION:

Weekly iron supplementation was logistically simpler and cheaper than daily supplementation but would have to be continued on a longer term basis in order to combat both anaemia and iron deficiency.

PMID:
11424510
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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